Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a collaborator with Cardinal Burke and an auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, has given a lecture on “Mary, conqueror of all heresies”, in which he warned that Freemasonry is an “instrument of Satan”. Bishop Schneider made this observation in the context of 2017 being the 300th anniversary of the foundation of Freemasonry with the establishment of the first Grand Lodge in London.
Bishop Schneider described the past 300 years of Freemasonry as turbulent and hidden, in pursuit of a revolutionary and subversive ambition. He described Freemasonry as a “tool of Satan” that has largely shied away from daylight since its foundation.
Bishop Schneider went on to recall St Maximilian Kolbe’s recollections of the Freemasons’ aggressive celebrations of their 200th anniversary in Rome during 1917, in the middle of the First World War. His Lordship related St Maximilian Kolbe’s description of Freemasonry openly declaring war on the Catholic Church. The Freemason littered Rome with posters showing the Archangel Michael defeated on the ground trampled beneath a triumphant Lucifer. In their protests against the Catholic Church, the Freemasons also displayed the black flag of the heretic Giordano Bruno, a Dominican friar who promoted materialistic pantheism, a central belief of Freemasonry. (Bruno also denied fundamental doctrines of the Faith).
As a consequence of witnessing the Freemasons’ hostility towards the Church in 1917, St Maximilian Kolbe decided to found the Militia Immaculatae [The Knights of the Immaculate] to counteract the actions of Lucifer.
In his lecture, Bishop Schneider went on to declare that the goal of Freemasonry is to eliminate the entire doctrine of God, especially Catholic doctrine. To achieve this goal the Freemasons have used many associations and societies. According to Bishop Schneider, Freemasonry seeks the dissolution of morality because they are convinced that unless they corrupt morality they cannot defeat the Catholic Church since they cannot defeat it with logical arguments.
Bishop Schneider concluded his reflections on Freemasonry by observing that masonic action on this principle of corrupting morality to defeat the Catholic Church was currently very topical again. In response to this, he reflected that undoubtedly the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was immaculately conceived, will in the end crush the greatest of all time: the heresy of the Antichrist.
Earlier in 2016 Bishop Schneider gave an interview to Daniel Blackman for One Peter Five during which he discussed the subversive influence of Freemasonry:
Bishop Schneider: Freemasonry is in itself intrinsically not compatible with Christian or Catholic faith, it is intrinsically not compatible, because the nature of freemasonry is anti-Christian. They deny Christ, and they deny the objective truths, they promote relativism, which is contrary to the truth, to the Gospel. So they promote the doctrinal errors of the Masonic philosophy. This is incompatible with Christian and Catholic faith.
Freemasonry has also an esoteric aspect, which is not Christian. They have rituals and ceremonies which are esoteric, which they openly admit, and such ceremonials are contrary to the faith. Their symbols and rituals demonstrate that they are against the divine truths in the Gospel – these things transmit show that Freemasonry is another religion. I repeat, freemasonry is another religion, it is an anti-Christ religion.
Even when they do good works, philanthropy and so forth, these dangerous things remain. Their philanthropy is not a justification that we can accept freemasonry, just because of their good philanthropic work. I will never recognise their doctrines and rituals which are against the Divine truths of the Gospel. The Church can never accept this. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1983 declaration on freemasonry is still valid. According to this Declaration it is a mortal sin to become a freemason – even pope Francis has not changed this law. This teaching is official and still valid.
Daniel Blackman: In 2013 on his return flight from Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis made reference to a Masonic lobby. Recently, Cardinal Ravasi, in the Italian paper Il Sole 24 Ore, called for new dialogue and shared values with Freemasonry. Has Masonry won in the Church?
Bishop Schneider: Of course we know that Freemasonry is one of the most powerful influences at all levels of human society. This is manifest and clear. Theoretically, when one is a supporter, a leader in a very influential anti-Christian organisation, there is the tendency to infiltrate the organisation which is your enemy, it is very logical. So it is logical, over many centuries, that they would have tried and probably succeeded to infiltrate themselves into various levels of the Church – this is clear to me.
It is difficult to demonstrate concretely, to identify, who is a member. It is very difficult and dangerous, because someone may be accused of being a member, then it is proved the person is not a formally a member. It’s because of the secrecy and esotericism of Freemasonry that makes it very difficult.
One can assume that a cleric, a priest, bishop, or cardinal, has some connections with the masons by his speech. We hear clerics speaking like Freemasons, clearly, when they open their mouths, they use terms and concepts that are typically masonic. He could be a member, but you have to prove it, but at least when he speaks he has the spirit of the Freemason, maybe he is not a formal member, but some bishops and cardinals speak clearly with a Masonic spirit. I stress this does not mean they are formally members of the Freemasons.
Dr Rudolf Graber, Bishop of Regensburg (1903-1992), wrote about Freemasonry’s plans to destroy the Church in his book, “Athanasius and the Church of our time”. He quotes from a letter written by a Freemason in 1839:
“We must not individualise vice; in order for it to grow to the proportions of patriotism and hatred of the Church, we must generalise it. Catholicism is no more afraid of a sharp dagger than the monarchy is, but these two foundations of the social order are likely to collapse through corruption; we at all events never allow ourselves to be corrupted. Do not, then, let us make martyrs but let us popularise vice among the masses. Whatever their five senses strive after shall be satisfied…Create hearts full of vice and you will no longer have any Catholics. That is the corruption, on a large scale, which we have undertaken, the corruption of the people by the clergy and that of the clergy by us, the corruption which leads the way to our digging the Church’s grave”. (Athanasius and the Church of our time, p.40).
Originally published at EWTN Great Britain.
Deacon Nick Donnelly is an author based in the diocese of Lancaster, England. He is the online news editor for EWTN Great Britain. You can follow him on Twitter at @protectthepope.